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Drivers unable to use turn signals properly

Drivers are always complaining how craaaazy bike riders are, what with their wanting to "share" the "road" and "biking" in "bike lanes." Well, it turns out that drivers are really bad at using the roads, too. And especially at using their TURN SIGNALS.

According to a new study from the Society of Automotive Engineers, 25 percent of the time, drivers do not use their turn signals when turning. And 48 percent of the time, drivers do not use their turn signals when changing lanes. 

Read more: Transportation

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A low-cost way to improve public transit: Add joy

Happy No-Pants Day! (Photo by James Calder.)

When it comes to transit, even the best of us have a bad attitude. In my own case, I ride the commuter train because it’s the lesser of evils: Driving to work sucks, and the train sucks a bit less. Among those with stronger environmental devotions, transit can be an obligation: We ride the bus or train because it’s the right thing to do, not because we enjoy it.

It doesn’t have to be that way, argues urban planner Darrin Nordahl. His potent new e-book, Making Transit Fun!, has all the enthusiasm for buses, trains, and bike lanes that its title’s exclamation point implies. Can transit incorporate art? Yes! How about playground equipment? You bet. Even … sex? Oh yeah, baby.

The automobile industry has employed the best designers and marketers (and even Posh Spice) to make driving cars cool, sexy, exhilarating -- and piss on transit options like biking. “Here is where we transit advocates need to take a lesson from Corporate America,” Nordahl writes. “You cannot get sufficient numbers of people to buy a product or service if it doesn’t excite them.”

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Modern-day DeLorean? Airplane runs on trash

Photo by Paul O'Donnell.

One man's trash is another man's airplane fuel.

Adventure-seeker Andy Pag aims to obtain funding and become the first person to fly a trash-fueled plane from one end of the U.K. to the other. His aircraft, a microlight plane, will be powered by gasoline made from un-recyclable plastics like bags and packaging.

The fuel is made by a British company using Fischer–Tropsch synthesis--a process of making synthetic fuel that dates back to before WWII. Pag says the fuel is worth highlighting because it produces limited CO2, and reduces the volume of plastics that otherwise would go to landfills.

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4 out of 5 top transit cities are on the East Coast

Walk Score put together a list of the country's top transit cities, based on the company's transit scores for more 1 million locations in the largest 25 cities with open public transit data. (Lack of data meant Atlanta and Phoenix were left out.) And, surprisingly, four out of the top five are on the East Coast: New York (No. 1), Boston (No. 3), D.C. (No. 4), and Philadelphia (No. 5).

San Francisco (of course!) is the one West Coast spoiler. (You can check out the full list is below the jump.)

I was surprised to see Boston and, in particular, Philadelphia come out on top of cities like Chicago and Seattle that I think of as public-transit friendly. One interesting wrinkle in the Walk Score methodology is that it measures not just the extent of public transportation but its "usefulness." 

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Chinese farmer builds AMAZING solar- and wind-powered car

Electric vehicles are great and all, but they’re not exactly practical for everyone. Like, how’s a farmer in rural China going to a) afford a pricey green car and b) get enough access to electrical outlets and vehicle charging stations?

Well, if he’s Tang Zhengping from Beijing’s Tangzhou Wanji Yongle Town, he’ll build his own -- and it’ll be AWESOME.

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Badass enclosed, untippable electric motorcycle is the ultimate green transport

It goes 200 miles on a third as much battery power as an electric car. It has airbags and an enclosed cockpit. It's gyroscopically stabilized, like a Segway.

It could be the future of transportation.

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Against all odds, Los Angeles is getting a bikeshare

Photo by Colin Gordon.

Los Angeles! Despite your reputation as the most car-dependent city west of, uh, anything, you're totally trying to get in on the green transportation revolution, and we love it!

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced over the weekend that the City of Cars will soon have a permanent bikeshare program. And if there were ever a city that should be bike-friendly, it's L.A. If people in Minneapolis can bike through the winter, the good people of Los Angeles can bike through their year-round climate of balmy beauty. (Seriously, you can do it, guys! We're rooting for you!)

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Millennials love cities because they provide the one thing their boomer parents couldn’t give them

Why is Gen Y migrating to the cities? Because millennials are craving the things they didn’t get in their suburban upbringings, like connectedness and adventure. Basically, they’re throwing off their cul-de-sac childhoods and seeking out authenticity.

Nathan Norris, urban infrastructure planner, lays it all out at the PlaceShakers blog:

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Everyone in Beijing is ditching bikes, except for the foreigners

In 1986, 60 percent of the citizens of Beijing rode bikes; now 17 percent do. In an age in which every industrialized nation with even the slightest desire to get through the 21st century with its oil-dependent economy intact is ramping up efforts to make its cities more bike friendly, China is undergoing a grand reversal, a de-bikification on a scale only China could manage.